Greetings dear friends!
I hope this message finds each of you doing well!
I am now settled back in Ethiopia after a productive and refreshing time in the states.
Below are some highlights of my trip:
-Had a great time with family and friends!
-Enjoyed a lot of great food…especially seafood:)
-Attended a John Maxwell leadership training. Here in Ethiopia, I rarely have the opportunity to attend training so I am always thankful, empowered and refreshed when I able to do so.
-Our first annual fundraising event was a great success and we are looking forward to expanding next year!
-A trip to Alaska, the fulfillment of a lifetime dream! I GREATLY enjoyed my time there with my dear friends, the Chon’s, and with the Northgate Alaska Church family.
-I was also able to enjoy some time in Wilmington/Carolina Beach. It was the first time in many years that I was able to spend time at the coast during the warmer weather of spring. The gift of a good friend’s beachfront condo made my time there especially refreshing!
-I was able to meet with potential new partners including several new churches.
-Several churches and individuals expressed interest in bringing teams to Ethiopia in the next year.
I want to share one more highlight that is dear to my heart. I have shared with many of you over the past couple of years about Ephrem. Here is a long story very short… Ephrem lost his father when he was young and due to resulting economic hardships at home he left home and lived in the woods beside a nearby lake. He survived by cleaning fish for the local fisherman and eventually he was taken into the home of a local family. When he began attending high school he immediately excelled and became the top-ranked student in his city. Seeing the potential in his life, his adoptive family sacrificed greatly to send him to medical school but after some time were unable to continue to financially support his education. During this trip, one of our partners, Growing Leaders, committed to sponsoring the remainder of Ephrem’s medical education! When I shared this with Ephrem he was overwhelmed with joy and tears. We are all rejoicing over this opportunity for him to continue his education and to move closer to his destiny! By Gods grace, Ephrem has passed through many unimaginable challenges in his life to get to where he is today and he is currently the top-ranked student in his class! (Attached is a photo of Ephrem)
It was by all standards a great trip! A HUGE THANKS to all of you who contributed in so many ways to the fruitfulness and enjoyment of my stay there.
I was encouraged when I returned to Ethiopia by the progress of our church while I was gone. Our team did a great job in my absence and I am excited and expectant about what the God holds for the rest of this year!
Thanks for your friendships, prayers, encouragement, and financial support!
May God bless you all!